Companies tend to struggle to create and publish good content on their blog. If you’re a marketer, you’re most likely not a professional writer. Hence it can be difficult to figure out what your audience is interested in, write good content around those topics, all while running your other marketing tasks. And when your segment has many big actors with content marketing teams dedicated to maintaining an efficient blog, it can be challenging to try and compete with them. So it’s important to understand what matters in terms of content quantity and quality.
Publish good content, yes indeed. Here’s how.
If “Content Marketing is all the Marketing that’s left” – according to Seth Godin (best selling author, entrepreneur, marketer and public speaker) -, you want to do things right.
If you want to do things right and publish good content, you should:
1. Start by really (I mean, really) asking yourself what your audience cares about (anyone potentially interested in your product or service). Find what pain points they want to tackle in their job, what question they would ask if you were in front of them. In other words, define your buyer personas. If you want to know more about buyer personas and how important they should be to you in an overall marketing and sales standpoint, go here.
2. Once you know their questions, interests, challenges, think about how you can provide answers. You don’t need to be a know-it-all. Besides, no one wants to read “hey guys, you have this issue but it’s a stupid issue since I have the perfect answer for it and here it is”. Rather, show that you understand the challenge, show you can relate to it and then offer an approach to tackle it or even just a point of view, or how you personally dealt with the issue.
FYI, that’s what I’m doing in this article: I know it’s hard to publish good content on a blog and people care about doing it right, so I’m sharing my point of view and tips on the subject.
3. Respect the 80/20 rule: 20% of your content should be about your brand. Good news is, you can still talk about your product/service! And it makes sense, your audience (prospects and customers!) can be interested in your new features, the evolution of your company, and any other brand related article.
4. Be human! You’re not writing for robots. Things don’t have to be absolutely perfect or nobody would write. Sometimes there are grammar errors in articles in The New York Times. You’re writing to human beings, and “errare humanum est” (to err is human). Focus on the topic of the article. On having a personal angle to a subject and most of all, on bringing an added value to anyone reading your article. That’s what good content is. Once you master that you can ask yourself how you can optimize your articles with the perfect image size, length of sentences, and all those practical tips that don’t really matter if you don’t have the content to start with.
5. The more you do, the easier it gets. Like everything in life, probably? The first articles won’t be the best ones, but you’ll improve week after week if you start now.
6. If you care about lead generation, then make a blog. We asked ourselves the question of which between short form of content (blog post and curated posts) and long form of content (white papers and eBooks) generated more leads and qualified leads. The ROI of short form content – in our case – is about 3x the ROI of long form content. You can view the study here.
Publishing quality content is not enough if you don’t publish regularly.
According to Hubspot, “Businesses with websites of 401-1000 pages get 6x more leads than those with 51-100 pages”. That says it all, doesn’t it?
If you publish good content once every month, it won’t be enough for you to get noticed in the massive amount of content available on the web. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. And there is nothing more frustrating than taking the time to write a good piece, being proud of it, and witnessing it have no impact on your traffic once you publish it.
To cope with that and avoid trying to have a blog then giving up on it because you don’t see any ROI generated, you want to have multiple pieces of content available and talking about many questions your audience is susceptible to ask. That way, they’ll have more chance to end up on one of your articles. Once they are on your website, you can redirect them to other articles within your blog including those “best seller” blog posts – also called “evergreens”. You should also add CTAs to your landing pages in order to convert them and nurture them.
So yes, you need to publish good content often, and since you can’t write everything from scratch, you’re going to need a bit of help.
Build a content publishing planning with goals to motivate you.
That’s a great start. You have your topics lined up, if you want to take it a step further you can tag them to the lifecycle stages of your prospects.
Now set up a planning of the posts you would like to publish, as well as publishing goals. For your blog posts, and for your social media accounts! You want to be tweeting about your articles on a regular basis (and the evergreens too), at the very least twice a day on Twitter and once a day on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google + (the channels depend on your social media strategy).
This step is very important to keep you motivated and ensure you publish content regularly enough to keep your audience interested in what you have to say. You can use any calendar to do so and set up alerts to remind you to publish, but using a content marketing platform will integrate with your blog and social media channels, allowing you to schedule your publications in advance, easily re-share your evergreens on all our channels, and analyze the ROI of each piece of content (views, shares, leads generated).
I know what you’re going to say: “this doesn’t change the fact that I don’t have time to read everything published around my topics to find ideas for articles that my audience wants and nobody has already written – and better written -, and I just don’t have the resources to spend the necessary time needed to produce a good piece of content on a regular basis!”. I know. I had the same problem! Yet I found a solution :).
Use content curation to source and publish good content on a regular basis.
Imagine being able to write a good piece of content, in less than 30 minutes, around a topic your audience cares about. It’s not magic. It’s content curation. I didn’t say content duplication. Both are very, very different. Want to know just how much? Read this and then come back.
So yes, content curation is the solution. You find a good piece of content and you build an article around it: it doesn’t have have to be more than 300 words long, but it needs an added value: you can explain what’s your take on the article, develop a part of it, add something to it, etc. You quote a paragraph of the original article that is relevant to your explanation, and always attribute the source of the article.
Again, a possible objection: “I still need to spend hours on the web to look for a good piece of content”. Not if you automate the sourcing part of the curation. Not the writing of the explanation itself, but the discovery of good content that is relevant to your audience.
A good content marketing tool has this powerful content suggestion engine that finds article on google, on social networks, on youtube, and any place where you want it to search, allowing you to just pick the ones you’d like to curate. And integrated with your content planner and your analytics, you’re all set to compete by yourself or with a small team with big corporations and their armies of content marketers and freelance writers.
And then all you have to do is learn to nurture them properly and deliver them the content they need at the stage they are in. Again, curation can help for that too!
If you’d like to have a look at what Scoop.it Content Director can do to help you plan, source, curate and analyze all of your content, you can have a look at our features and/or ask for a personalized demo here.
Don’t hesitate to tell us in the comments how you relate to these tips and share more!
And if you’d like to know how you can start blogging consistently in 30 minutes a day or less, read our eBook!
Image by Tambako The Jaguar.
I am new to content curation and wondering if you can do too much of it? Even if you use one or two lines of the sentence, can you do this too much and look like spam?
Hi Bryant, It isn’t about doing “too much”, rather about doing “enough” to get noticed. Curation shouldn’t be used to publish 10 times a day. But curation helps you 1. find great content out there, and 2. when you think it’s relevant, add value to it and publish it on your blog (always attribute your source and quote only a paragraph of the article, not the whole thing). If you’d like to see in detail how content curation works and why it’s probably one of the best practices if you want to improve SEO, you should read this eBook: http://business.scoop.it/improve-seo-the-power-of-content-curation/… Read more »
Wow I just read the e-book and it really gave me a lot of insight and yes it does make sense. thank you for sharing the e-book with me I look forward to curating content
Glad you like it Bryant! 🙂
Pretty mainstream advice actually. Not outstanding at all.
I read an article last week explaining you should never publish an article if it’s not of great quality. I wanted to show that with efforts and curation you could – and should – combine quality and quantity if you want to get noticed.
I agree about publishing something regularly. Helpful especially if you already have followers. http://johnpyronsalestraining.com/
These are some great points Julie, thank you for sharing. Great content is key, but if you don’t post regularly, you won’t get noticed! Great content on a steady schedule helps cultivate customer loyalty, something I outline in a recent blog post, give it a read!
Great article. Being a one man business makes it hard to work on updating our products, respond to customers, and update our blog.
I love the idea of curated content! I will be bringing on someone to do this since. Finding a stay at home mom to find great articles, write a response, and take car of publishing is easy. I just step in and do a few tweaks and add my voice to the article.
Sounds super easy, I just have to find the time to find someone.
I agree it can be tough, and bringing someone in would totally help! If you combine both a resource and a complete content marketing tool, you can have an all-in-one machine to find good content to curate, publish it to your blog, schedule the social media messages on all of your channels, and analyze the results of what blog posts work best to generate traffic and leads. Have a look at Scoop.it Content Director, it personally cut my content marketing time in half! http://business.scoop.it
And let me know what you think!
Yes. But how I obtain raw content to curate in Spanish with scoop-it? Can you help me?